Boyzone Members tribute Stephen Gately
Sunday 18th October 2009
Stephen's Eulogy from the boyz:
"On behalf of Steo’s Husband and family we would like to thank you all for all of your kind words, gestures and tributes over the last week. The level of support from the public, media and the music industry has been overwelming.
We would also like to say a massive thank you to An Garda Siochana for all they have done for Stephen.
Father Declan, we have managed to spend time with you over the past few days and there is no finer man to give this service today, thank you.
We would personaly like to thank Mark Plunkett and the Gately family would like to thank Gerald Keane for all they have done over the past week for Stephen.
Stephen was Born on the 17th of March 1976 (Paddy’s Day). He very quicly established himself as a performer joining the Gaiety School of Acting and also entering and winning many dance competitions across Ireland.
It was not until he joined Boyzone though in 1993 that people realised Stephen was a force to be reckoned with.
At the auditions for the band, Stephen asked Louis, whom he loved and looked up to, ‘How tall do ya have to be to be in Boyzone?’. He was worried that being 5 foot 7 was too short . But in latter years, while auditioning for The Hobbit, he said he was 5 foot 3... so we never really knew how tall he was. I dont think he did either but he was a giant of a man in our hearts.
A true performer full of life and spirit.
A true friend full of love and friendship.
Believing in joy, compassion, love and equality.
Stephen loved being in BZ, he found an outlet for his passion and four friends & brothers who understood who he truly was.
Also a lover of everything Disney, Stephen would make frequent visits to Disneyland. Everyone knew Steo loved Mickey Mouse.
After four years and tremendous courage, Steo became a pioneer in showing young people it was OK to stand up for who you are and what you believe in. So many owe him so much for what he did.
The five of us created are own little bubble of humour and security and we were always there for each other, through thick and thin.
The break up of the band in 2000 was hard on all of us. Stephen found musical theatre to be his calling and enjoyed lead rolls in some of the great West End shows.
But his true passion and love was the band and he longed for it’s return.
He found this time difficult but along the way found true love with Andrew and together they navigated through the good and the bad times.
It was Andrew that helped Steo become to blossom into the man he always believed he could be.
Together they enjoyed life in London making so many great friends and being part of the vibrant London West End scene .
Stephen’s love for Andrew was true and only last week he told me how lucky he felt to have him by his side.
Stephen and Andrew took up residence in the leafy suburb of Highgate in London were they made so many great friends including Phylis ‘the Butcher’ whom he loved and laughed with daily.
But Steo always kept in touch with his family at home in Dublin, making frequent trips home to see his Mam and Dad, sister Michelle & her family and his brothers Tony, Mark and Alan & their families.
When we visited Margaret and Martin this week, we enjoyed listning to some of the stories of Stephen’s past. We realised that he doesn’t lick it off the ground! They were so alike in so many ways, it was truly like speaking to Steo.
He loved his Mam and Dad so much and spoke of them regularly. He loved the fact that they were the life and sole of every party, as Steo himself became.
In 2007 we reunited, something we had all longed for for some time.
Steo found a renewed passion for what he knew best – performing.
With an audience Stephen came alive. He became truly himself, he brought colour to the band that now simply feels black & white without him.
Behind the curtain Stephen was deeply private and guarded but we were lucky enough to see through that and get a glimpse of the warm, honest, gentle loving man he was.
Stephen loved to laugh and by God did we laugh! We had the most unusual sense of humour... If he were here right now he would say, ‘hey Ro, I’m looking for a stained glass window, if you see one around let me know!’
He had nick-names for all of us. Keith was Kitty, Shane was Shanice, Mikey was Mikeala and I was Rosaleen. Of course, he was Stephanie.
He loved it when we were all together laughing and joking. He provided us with so many funny lines throughout the BZ days, some you may have heard and some in this house I can not repeat!
We were the campest straight band we knew (except for one fella... and he knows who he is)! That is why Steo always felt so comfortable in Boyzone. He thought he was the best camper in the world... He wasn't even the best Camper in the band! Isn’t that right, Duster?
He was so excited at the prospect of the new BZ studio album. He called me last Friday, after recieving a bunch of new songs, saying how much he loved them, saying lets go lets go lets go!
He was putting the finishing touches to his first book, ‘The Tree of Seasons’. There are a few pages left and by hook or by crook, those who loved him and there are so many in this room, will help finish it.
We now pray for his guidance and spirit to show us the way.
It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I say that the world has lost one of its brightest stars, we have lost our brother and I have lost my wing man.
He will live on in the songs and whenever us four are together. His spirit is alive so, for Steo, we will carry on but it will never be the same without him.
A beautiful man who is now the perfect angel... forever young and never forgotten.
A man, a friend, a brother, a son, a husband and a hero.
We are going to really miss ya brother, we love ya pal and we always will.
We know you have found peace, perfect peace."
Stephen's husband, Andrew, has asked that rather than flowers, people could kindly send a donation to the Caudwell Children Charity for whom Stephen was an ambassador. The charity have set up a Just Giving page or you can visit their website.
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